Photo credit: The Parker Weekly

On May 14, Parker students in Reproductive Justice Club took to the streets with posters reading “I dissent,” “We need to talk about the elephant in the womb,” “My uterus has more regulations than your guns,” and a handful of other clever phrases condemning the at the time recently released Supreme Court document which threatened the existence of Roe V. Wade – the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion. 

This was a powerful and encouraging action of resistance and consolation that marked Parker’s ability to come together in the face of monumental challenges.

Then, on June 24, during summer break when our school adjourns its close knit community, our country woke up to the news that Roe V. Wade had been overturned. This includes those of our own who marched Washington Blvd. 41 days prior, our entire Parker community, and you – whoever you may be. 

A week and a half later, only 10 hours and 15 minutes into the Fourth of July, seven people died, and 48 injured,while celebrating America at a parade in Highland Park. This hateful attack took place in a town 50 minutes away from Parker’s front door.

Also this summer, the Parker community watched as Congress and the Department of Justice were hard at work investigating the conduct of former president Donald Trump and his administration. The US House Select Committee on the January 6 attack has held hours and hours of hearings to explore and analyze the behavior of Trump and his colleagues that led to the insurrection attempt. On August 8, the FBI raided Trump’s residence at Mar-a-lago and discovered copious amounts of classified documents that were wrongfully possessed by the former president. These instances of outrageous misconduct by a former president represented yet another loss of decency in national politics.

When Class Day dismissed on June 9, the Parker community was sent off into summer break to endure these current events in solitude. Each piece of tragic and shocking news was taken in by all of us, individually, with no chance to tackle them as a group. Today marks our collective return to Parker and “The Weekly” urges everyone at Parker to discuss these events together. We should support each other, confide in each other, and strengthen our connections to each other. As students of a school that praises individuality and berates “group thinking,” let it also praise coming together and collectively remembering and discussing the ways in which this news may have affected us. In the words of Colonel Francis Parker “The needs of society should determine the work of the school,” and we are living in a society that is finding itself in quite a lot of need. We the editors are hopeful that we as a community can take these words seriously, rather than slapping them on walls without further thought. 

While overwhelmed, we are lucky enough to return to a space filled with a lot of care. Care for our education, our safety, and each other. Parker students often acknowledge a so-called “Parker bubble” that represents the seclusion that the school experiences from the world around it mostly due to the privileged nature of most of its constituents. Yet, as we return to our oasis at 330 W Webster, let us disrupt this bubble and address the news we absorbed this summer.  Don’t hesitate to reach out or ask questions. Be mindful of your actions in our school and outside of it.

These instances of collaboration as we deal with current events can take place in a variety of Parker spaces. We hope teachers bring conversations into their classrooms and work to understand not only what happened, but how Parker’s own people have been affected and perturbed. Clubs and student organizations should provide students with opportunities to be proactive about their experiences by organizing, educating, and more. Students must also work together to welcome more discussions of current events into everyday friendly conversation. School should be a place where we can explore each other’s identities not only within the context of our institution but in the context of our world.